A Few Things About England for the Pontiff

I was in Canterbury, England, covering the world conference of Anglican bishops when Pope Paul VI died so I left immediately for Rome.

Therefore a lot of people figure I'm up to speed on what it's going to be like for the Pope when he gets to Great Britain.

Any day now the Vatican will hound me with questions about how the Pope should get ready for his trip.

It seemed easier to blog at NCR to save myself the trouble. Here are a couple of tips.

* Keep in mind when telling Henry VIII jokes that the Brits are likely to be on his side.

* Bring your blood pressure pills. You may run into women with clerical collars and homosexuals who think their lifestyle is perfectly natural.

* The place is loaded with dissenters. They even have a cemetery for them. Refrain from saying they got what they deserved.

* Sheep stealing is no laughing matter.

* With all the royal falderol, they like style over substance up to a point so you'll probably score well on that account by putting on a good face.

* Bring an umbrella. It tends to rain on the just and unjust alike.

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